MINERAL WELLS - It was a record-setting day for the annual craft show sponsored by the Chesterville United Methodist Church Ladies Aid Society at Mineral Wells Elementary School.
Organizers said they had the highest number of vendors ever and, while the number was not readily available Saturday, they also thought they had a record number of people attending the craft show.
Donna Casto, a member of the society, said the show began in 1994 and has grown over the years.
Photo by Jeffrey Saulton
Marijean Stockwell, of Williamstown, works on one of her neck tie creations during the craft show on Saturday in Mineral Wells.
"We began with 25 vendors and this year we have 120," she said. "Last year we had 100 vendors."
Casto said the money raised by the show is divided among a number of causes.
"We give money to St. Jude Hospital, the Family Crisis Intervention Center, the New Era School Museum, the Mineral Wells Volunteer Fire Department and anybody in the community who needs help throughout the year," she said.
* Since 1994, the Chesterville United Methodist Church Ladies Aid Society has sponsored an art and craft show at Mineral Wells Elementary School.
* The group began with 25 vendors at the first show to 120 vendors this year.
* In addition to members of the Ladies Aid Society, there were 40 volunteers from the community helping with Saturday's show.
Casto said while the society organizes the show, there are numerous volunteers coming from the community at large.
"We have about 50 volunteers of all ages," she said. "We have 10 members in ladies aid."
Casto said the vendors at Saturdays show sold handicrafts or foods. Organizers tried to limit vendors to one for each type of craft, adding the crafters are locals.
One unusual item this year was the Illuminations Candle Art booth by Alan Kieffer and Traci Welch, both of Parkersburg.
Welch said the candles are reusable, meaning after the original wick has burned through, a tea light can be put in its place and the rest of the candle is more like a candle holder. She said they include burning instructions with each candle.
Welch and Kieffer came across the technique while living in South Carolina.
"He worked in the shop at Hilton Head for three years," she said. "The owners of the shop decided to open a shop in Myrtle Beach and he went there."
After a few years, she said they decided to come back home to West Virginia and started making the candles locally.
Kieffer said while there are others who make the candles and carve them, most of them are in Florida and South Carolina. He is the only one in West Virginia.
Marijean Stockwell, of Williamstown, makes neckties to order and shows her creations at various shows.
"I was at Warren (Elementary School) last week and Williamstown (High School) the week before and I've been at Harvest Moon," she said. "I used to make ties and vests, that was interesting, but the vests are out right now."
Stockwell said she does not keep a count of how many ties she makes for shows.
"I'm usually sitting here and sewing," she said. "Sometimes I have help and sometimes I don't."
Stockwell said she got started at a young age making the ties. Her ties run the gamut from business-type ties to novelty ties featuring sport teams and schools.
"My eighth grade home economics teacher got me started," she said. "She helped me make my first tie. I've been selling them for profit for about 12 or 13 years."